Q&A: Broll Ghana
Maximising property potential: Africa Outlook talks to Kofi Ampong, CEO of Broll Ghana - the winner of the 2012 Ghana Property Award for Best Facilities Management Company
Writer Ian Armitage
Project manager James Mitchell
Broll Ghana is one of Ghana's pre-eminent property services companies operating in the country's residential, retail, commercial and industrial property sectors. Established in May 2006, it has quickly entrenched itself in a market that is fast-growing thanks to renewed interest in Africa, rising incomes, and the fact that, in 2010, the West African nation began to pump commercial oil.
Broll Ghana offers the "full spectrum of property-related services" including commercial broking, property valuations, retail leasing and consulting, corporate real estate services, facilities management, property management, shopping centre management, project management and residential estate management.
As well as close ties with other Broll companies in South Africa, Nigeria, Malawi and Namibia, the Ghanaian operation enjoys affiliate status with CBRE, the world's largest property services company, bringing representation to more than 80 countries and 438 offices around the world.
Mr Kofi Ampong, the firm's CEO tells us more…
Hi Kofi, great to talk with you. Let's start at the beginning. Why set up the Ghana office? What was the thinking there?
Broll was seeking African expansion and Broll Ghana was set up with the objective to provide property and facilities management services with the view of maximising the property potential of our clients through quality delivery, effectiveness, value and the provision of unique cost-effective solutions. By dint of hard work, we are confident we have achieved this objective.
Has the business evolved since?
It has. We were originally registered to provide property and facilities management services. Over the years, or with the passing of time, our menu of services has increased to include valuations and advisory, residential property management, brokerage, corporate real estate, sale of properties and retail broking.
Why was that evolution important?
As the years went by we observed the property needs of our clients were evolving and evolved with them. We had to diversify our services to be able to provide the right property solutions. Additionally, we observed that the property industry here in Ghana was growing/opening up and people understood the value of the services we provided and our competence. These also contributed to us offering/ innovating better service.
What are your current aims, goals and objectives?
In a nutshell, we aim to maintain our status as the leading provider of property services, offering the highest professional services. We now want to achieve greater market share and increase the portfolio base. The business is profitable and we have consistently paid dividends for the last five years. We have also managed to maintain and grow our client base.
You talked about performance. Are you happy with what Broll Ghana's doing?
We are. The last 12 months saw us aggressively making a mark or inroads in retail, broking and sale of properties. Plans are advanced in the development of apartment buildings in Accra and new retail facilities.
Is business booming?
Yes it is. There are developments of 150,000 square metres office space, four new retail facilities and 80-100 residential apartments, all coming onto the market within the next 24 months.
Which areas of the business have been most successful?
Without doubt, facilities management, retail management, property management and retail broking.
What are your flagship properties?
In terms of retail they are Accra Mall and A&C Square. On the property management side there is the World Trade Centre Building and Ridge Tower, and in facilities management we've Amenfi Plaza and Ghana Heights. Some of the residential properties we manage are Primrose Place, Polo Court and Dreams Court.
How would you sum up the current state of the property market in Ghana?
We have 100 percent occupancy and payment of rent is very good. The market is growing and over the last six years we have seen an increase in the amount of investment in the industry. The emergence of various nodes (commercial, residential etc) is evidence of this investment. A lot of investors are going into mix-use developments at the Airport City and residential development in choice areas. We are aiming to add at least two choice office properties to the stock annually and takeover the management of West Hills and the Junction malls after completion.
Are there lots of opportunities for Broll then?
We have always maintained that there is huge opportunity for business. Ghanaians have come to appreciate the importance of property management and using professional firms to provide that service. There is a real demand for prime office space, retail property and residential accommodation. The increase in construction in these sectors is fuelled by demand. We are currently operating a five-year strategic plan and our aim for the first two years is to grow the sale, valuation and advisory and retail divisions. We have targeted a yearly growth rate of 20 percent.
Customer relationships are vital when it comes to operating in the property market. How to you go about building and maintaining them?
We have observed over the years that alongside quality service you need strong communication. Communication is essential and we do our best to keep a two-way channel open between us and our clients. We want to leave the client with a smile and for this reason we ensure we offer them more than just a promise.
What's the secret your success?
We keep ourselves abreast of the various happenings in the industry and in doing that we train ourselves on the best ways we can serve our clients and also find out what our competitors are doing. Our plan now is to make inroads into the various regions in Ghana and encourage investors to move into other geographical areas locally, not just stay in Accra. Our success has been the people who work for the company; those who wake up every day and put their shoulders to the wheel.
To learn more about Broll Ghana visit www.brollghana.com